Wednesday, June 10, 2015

THERAPY

Here a table, clear finished, dusted, so shiny, it looks liquid.
Sun lights the hue to butterscotch.
But under the table hide unspeakable bags,
mildewed boxes bloated, dark dirty things too scary to touch.


You sit across, we slowly decide and pull up some shameful artifact,
set it on the table. I move backwards as from an abyss
wanting to tell you and myself, that is not mine,
those belong to someone else, I never owned this.


Why did I pull my hair out? You don't show repulsion
at blood or spit or snakeskin, the kitten I drowned to see
what it would do, a turtle I squashed, red rubber hose,
bald and naked dolls. You explain how we are all kin.


But here is the dress I stole, earrings, a pink scarf I never wore
The rabbit I put alive in the garbage. "You were three,"
you say. "Yes, but thirteen when I thought I needed that dress,
and there were five dollars I took when I was six from a friend.


" You say, "Children have no morals. How much allowance
were you given? He wouldn't let you cheer because the outfit
cost too much? Every child steals and lies. It's a stage."
We weave talk and reason, and when I leave you shove them back


under the table, where they dissolve away, get lugged out
with the garbage, or turn to dustballs.
But sometimes alone now I can drag out some damning flaw,
say my fantasies about the musclebound half-dressed guy


on the corner with the big jackhammer who might be
named Eddie. He wipes sweat off his face
and turns his hungry hot gaze at me. You say, "Everyone fantasizes."
"Tillotrichomania is common, a response to anxiety," you say.


"Your father daily threatened to kill you. I can only imagine
what that must have been like." I touch those things cautiously.
They stay dead. Now I make the leaps you make,
and sometimes I wipe the table clean all by myself.

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